My book group read Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman this month and I kept highlighting passages on my Kindle to use later on the blog. I haven’t finished it yet. I’m about halfway through. I’m that kind of book group member. (I did bring not one, but two, delicious salads.) But that hasn’t stopped me from telling people to read it. It’s so good. I love her voice and her story.
For now here are some great Lindy West quotes from Shrill.
And you can read her this week in the New York Times too.
“Don’t tell thin women to eat a cheeseburger. Don’t tell fat women to put down the fork. Don’t tell underweight men to bulk up. Don’t tell women with facial hair to wax, don’t tell uncircumcised men they’re gross, don’t tell muscular women to go easy on the dead-lift, don’t tell dark-skinned women to bleach their vagina, don’t tell black women to relax their hair, don’t tell flat-chested women to get breast implants, don’t tell “apple-shaped” women what’s “flattering,” don’t tell mothers to hide their stretch marks, and don’t tell people whose toes you don’t approve of not to wear flip-flops. And so on, etc, etc, in every iteration until the mountains crumble to the sea. Basically, just go ahead and CEASE telling other human beings what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do with their bodies unless a) you are their doctor, or b) SOMEBODY GODDAMN ASKED YOU.”
“Please don’t forget: I am my body. When my body gets smaller, it is still me. When my body gets bigger, it is still me. There is not a thin woman inside me, awaiting excavation. I am one piece.”
“Maybe you are thin. You hiked that trail and you are fit and beautiful and wanted and I am so proud of you, I am so in awe of your wiry brightness; and I’m miles behind you, my breathing ragged. But you didn’t carry this up the mountain, You only carried yourself. How hard would you breathe if you had to carry me? You couldn’t. But I can.”
“Denying people access to value is an incredibly insidious form of emotional violence, one that our culture wields aggressively and liberally to keep marginalized groups small and quiet.”
“As a woman, my body is scrutinized, policed, and treated as a public commodity. As a fat woman, my body is also lampooned, openly reviled, and associated with moral and intellectual failure. My body limits my job prospects, access to medical care and fair trials, and – the one thing Hollywood movies and Internet trolls most agree on – my ability to be loved. So the subtext, when a thin person asks a fat person, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ is, ‘You must be some sort of alien because if I looked like you, I would definitely throw myself into the sea.”
“I reject the notion that thinness is the goal, that thin = better—that I am an unfinished thing and that my life can really start when I lose weight. That then I will be a real person and have finally succeeded as a woman. I am not going to waste another second of my life thinking about this. I don’t want to have another fucking conversation with another fucking woman about what she’s eating or not eating or regrets eating or pretends to not regret eating to mask the regret. OOPS I JUST YAWNED TO DEATH.”